Google On Can You Redirect A Penalty To Another Site

Jun 30, 2014 • 8:51 am | comments (28) by | Filed Under Google Search Engine Optimization

Google Penalty CardsCan you redirect a penalty to a new or different domain name? Let's say site A has a bad link penalty, either manual action or algorithmic issue. And you or a competitor decide to use a 301 redirect from site A to a site without a penalty (i.e. site B). Would site A's penalty cause site B to get a penalty also?

This is not a new question and we know penalties may follow you even without redirects. But if done in a negative SEO way, will Google catch it?

John Mueller of Google answered this in an unofficial Google Webmaster Hangout Friday afternoon at 27 minutes and 30 seconds in.

John said:

(1) Google is usually good at catching these cases.

(2) He has personally never seen a case where this caused an issue for a good site.

(3) If you are worried and you want to ensure nothing bad happens, you can disavow the links pointing to the penalized site (i.e. site A). Disavowing the domain that was 301ed to you, seems like it wouldn't help.

Here is the video:

Forum discussion at Google Webmaster Hangout.

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